Southampton and West Ham United battled it out to a rather one-sided 0-0 draw at St. Mary's. The hosts had by far the better of the play and the vast majority of the scoring opportunities, but they simply couldn't find their way past Jussi Jaaskelainen, who produced a heroic effort to secure a point for the Hammers.
West Ham, interestingly, had the first chance of the game. Mohamed Diame had his way with Luke Shaw in the Southampton box, spinning the young left back to the ground before unleashing an angled drive which Artur Boruc parried over more out of self-preservation than anything else. But that proved something of a false dawn for the visitors, who found themselves increasingly under siege as the half wore on.
Jaaskelainen was called into action after a cutback found Saints record signing Pablo Osvaldo, flinging himself to his left to stop an admittedly poor finish. But the West Ham goalkeeper wasn't done there -- he was called into action several more times as Southampton piled on the pressure. Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Morgan Schneiderlin were all thwarted, and the latter also saw an overhead kick attempt cleared by Winston Reid. The post also came to the visitors' rescue -- Lambert finally managed to beat Jaaskelainen with a thumping header only to see his try cannon off the upright.
There was plenty of scintillating attacking football on display in the match, but there was also rather a lot of viciousness, from both sides. West Ham were furious when Schneiderlin went unpunished after into Diame with his studs up, and they had their revenge via similar challenges from Mark Noble and Joey O'Brian that left first Dejan Lovren and then Lallana hobbling.
The visitors weren't entirely limited to watching their goalkeeper pull off some spectacular stops and merrily fouling their hosts whenever the opportunity arose, and they had a fine chance to win the match as the game drew to a close. A loose ball caused havoc in the Southampton lines, and eventually fell to James Collins, all alone and ten yards from goal. Being a centre back, however, he supplied a defender's finish, imperiling nearby aircraft rather than Boruc's net.
Southampton starting lineup (4-4-2): Artur Boruc; Luke Shaw (Callum Chambers, 77'), Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Nathaniel Clyne; Adam Lallana (James Ward-Prouse, 72'), Victor Wanyama, Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez; Pablo Osvaldo, Rickie Lambert.
West Ham starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Jussi Jaaskelainen; Joey O'Brien, James Collins, Winston Reid, Guy Demel (Ravzan Rat, 61'); Ravel Morrison (Mark Taylor, 77'), Mark Noble; Matthew Jarvis, Kevin Nolan, Mohamed Diame; Modibo Maiga (Ricardo Vaz Te, 68').